Hawaiian Airlines


Overall Score

259 User Reviews

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Hawaiian Airlines is a large commercial airline that serves Hawaii. Being a regional carrier, it is also the 8th largest commercial airline in the United States. It is headquartered in Honolulu. Its two biggest hubs are at Honolulu International Airport and Kahului Airport on Maui. Mark Dunkerley is the CEO of Hawaiian Holdings, the company that owns Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines is arguably the safest airline in the industry. They've never had a fatal accident or a plane loss. It is the oldest airline in the country that boasts of such a safety record. Also, it is number two in terms of being an on-time carrier. Its rival Aloha Airlines is the number one on-time airline in the industry. Travel and Leisure, Zagat, and Condé Nest Traveler have also rated Hawaiian airlines the best carrier that serves Hawaii. Another nice thing about Hawaiian Airlines is that they have partnered extensively with other airlines with its rewards program. If you fly JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta, and other carriers, it may be possible to earn and redeem partner miles for certain Hawaiian Airline flights.


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#6 Hawaiian Airlines Logo Hawaiian Airlines



259 User Reviews

The Good

  • Ticket prices
  • Flight statistics
  • In-flight services
  • Time in business
  • Awards

Hawaiian Airlines offers average ticket prices. They are not generally the cheapest option for a ticket, but they are also far from the most expensive. For both domestic and international flights this seemed to be true. Even within Islands of Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines was occasionally beat out by other airlines. Hawaii Airlines is a great airline for earning different rewards and mile points which would help make their ticket prices even lower. They even allow mile points to be earned and redeemed from some of their partnering airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines is number two in terms of being the most on-time airline with their daily flights. Overall (according to Flightstats.com), they were 86% on time. 6% late, 2% very late, and 3% excessively late. This is a higher on-time percentage than the majority of all other airlines. They also have 0% of canceled and diverted flights. When looking at their most active routes, they have quite a variety of rated flights. Their top flights range from high 4 stars all the way to a 1.5 star rated flight from San Diego to Honolulu. Their top flights include:

• Honolulu to Kailua-Kona (4.7 stars, 96% on time)
• Honolulu to Kauai Island (4.7 stars, 94% on time)
• Honolulu to Kahului (4.6 stars, 95% on time)

It is interesting to note that the majority of their high-rated flights are around the Hawaiian Islands, and their lower rated flights are to other destinations. Flights in and around Hawaii are their strongest areas.

In-flight services for Hawaiian Airlines are standard. They include the following:
• Food and Beverages: Hawaiian Airlines offers all complimentary meals, beverages and snacks on board. This complimentary dining is better than a lot of other airlines. The menu for Hawaiian Airlines varies based on the destination but they are also served by top chiefs taking airline food to the next level. They also have a variety of drinks to go along with the meals served.
• Entertainment: The in-flight entertainment offered on Hawaiian Airlines is similar to those offered on other airlines. They offer a large variety of the top movies, TV shows, music and games on a personal screen located on the back of the seat. On the Boeing B767, personal tablets are available for passengers to rent that come preloaded with the new movies, games and shows. Hawaiian Airlines does not offer Wi-Fi as many of the top airlines do.
• Pau Hana Cart: Along with the other amenities, Hawaiian Airlines also offers a cart full of different items for passengers to purchase for themselves or for others as gifts. They include different snack items, pillows, blankets, and headphones.
• Duty Free Shopping: As is typical of most airlines, Hawaiian Airlines also offers tax-free shopping to passengers from their catalog. Passengers can choose different items as souvenirs for themselves or others while on the flight.

Hawaiian Airlines has been in business for almost 87 years. This makes them one of the oldest airlines in the industry. They have been in business longer than many of the top airlines and much longer than a number of the smaller airlines. They are Hawaii's largest and longest serving airline and they carry over 10 million guests a year. They are also arguably the safest airline in the industry. They have never had a fatal accident or lost a plane. Hawaiian Airlines has also won a number of other awards for their services. A few of them include:

• Travel+leisure's World's Best Awards: Best Airlines
• Zagat: Premium U.S. Airline
• U.S. Department of transportation: #1 On-Time Performance
• Forbes: World's Most Punctual Airline

There are a number of other awards won by Hawaiian Airlines for their performance over the last 86 years.

The Bad

  • Baggage
  • Check-in
  • Destinations

Unfortunately, Hawaiian Airlines does not offer any free baggage on either domestic or international flights. There are certain airlines that do allow for free checked baggage, making Hawaiian Airlines at a disadvantage. There is a fee for all baggage whether on flights to and within Hawaii or places farther.

When checked bags exceed 50lbs, there will be an additional excess baggage fee that will vary based on how heavy the bag is. It ranges from $25 to $200 a bag. Similarly, there will be a varying fee for baggage that exceeds their normal linear dimension of 62 inches.

Seats are selected or changed at check-in so that passengers know where they are headed when they board the airplane. Hawaiian Airlines also offers a few different ways for passengers to check-in for their flight and proceed to boarding the plane. They allow passengers to check-in online up to 24 hours before their departure date and also allow them to pay their baggage fees online making the airport process even easier. There is also check-in kiosks and counters available at the airport. These options are standard for most airlines. Hawaiian Airlines actually offers fewer check-in options than many other airlines. There was no mention of mobile check-in and they were not very clear on the times check-in and boarding need to be completed. There was no specification about the online or at airport check-in process without having ticket information to complete an actual check-in. Reservations for certain seats can be made, although not online. Reservations can only be made over the phone with Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines specializes in flights around the Hawaiian Islands. They fly to every major Island in Hawaii. They also fly to 28 other international destinations. They include cities in the following areas:

• North America
• Asia
• South Pacific

This makes Hawaiian Airlines a very small airline. When compared to larger airlines, who have over 300 destinations, they are very small. Even when compared to other small airlines, 28 destinations is very small. Hawaiian Airlines also offers more travel options through their partnering airlines. They partner with the following airlines:

• All Nippon Airways
• American Airlines
• China Airlines
• JetBlue
• Korean Air
• Virgin America
• Virgin Atlantic
• Virgin Australia

When flying with many of these partnering airlines, Hawaiian Airlines also allows passengers to earn HawaiianMiles for rewards.

The Bottom Line

We felt that Hawaiian Airlines had pretty good services and deals for customers. Overall, we felt like the travel insurance was a bit on the pricier side. We also felt like the lack of Wi-Fi was a big detractor. However, for island hopping and traveling to and from the Mainland, we felt like Hawaiian Airlines was a good fit.